Telstra has assured that only vaccinated people will only be allowed to come into its sites across the country, including third parties, amid a mandate for its own staff.
The telco said any partners, suppliers and stakeholders should make sure staff visiting any of its sites are fully vaccinated and are required to follow the guidance from the relevant state governments.
This comes in response to a bulletin published by the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union of Australia (CEPU) earlier this week, urging Telstra to extend its COVID-19 vaccination mandate to include third parties that operate within the telco’s environment.
Telstra in September said it would require its customer-facing staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by 15 November for staff in New South Wales and Victoria, with the other states set for 29 November.
“We’ve been working closely with our partners, suppliers and stakeholders to ensure that anyone working in or visiting a Telstra premise is fully vaccinated,” a Telstra spokesperson told CRN.
“We’ve asked these employers to make sure their people are fully vaccinated and we trust them to follow the guidance (of the relevant State Governments) and to work within our requirements to keep our locations COVIDSafe.
“We’ll continue to use COVIDSafe measures to ensure our people can safely deliver services, like social distancing and wearing masks. Our customers must comply with the relevant health regulations (e.g. being vaccinated and wearing masks where required), however, there will be some exceptions like people who have a medical exemption from getting the vaccine.
"If industry partners and contractors are doing the same work as people in roles who we’re requiring to be vaccinated, we’ll require those contractor staff to also be vaccinated. This would include our contractor field workforce.
"Our expectation is that these employers are managing their people to ensure they are fully vaccinated before working in or visiting our sites."
The CEPU yesterday expressed concern that the vaccine mandate for staff did not also include third parties entering Telstra owned or operated properties, like other telco representatives and customers. It also urged the telco to not require staff to attend a customer’s premises if the occupants of those premises are not vaccinated.
While the union encourages all of its members to comply with the mandate, it also criticised the mandate, saying it does not align with the Federal Government’s public health position of providing free vaccines that are also voluntary. It also said the already high vaccination rates plus financial incentives would have achieved Telstra’s vaccination goals even without a mandate in place.